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ADDRESS AND PROCEEDINGS
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THE CRANE MEMORIAL HALL.
ADDRESS AND PROCEEDINGS
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THE CRANE MEMORIAL HALL.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, JR.
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THE CRANE MEMORIAL HALL,
AT QUINCY, MASS.,
May 30, 1882.
JOHN WILSON AND SON.
Born on George's Island, in Boston Harbor, October 18, 1S03 ;
Died in the City of New York, April i, 1875.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
The Crane Memorial Hall Frontispiece
Portrait of Thomas Crane v
View of Interior (south end) 24
The Mantel and Fireplace 29
View of Interior (north end) 44
Nearly two hundred and forty years ago, in the early days
of Massachusetts and while Cromwell was still Lord Protector,
there came over to New England, among many others, a man
named Henry Crane. Little is known of him except that, of
English blood, he settled in Dorchester, and was the father
of a numerous progeny. Six sons have perpetuated his name
in many places throughout that continent which their common
ancestor helped to occupy. The fifth of these six sons was born
on the tenth of August, 1665, and was named Ebenezer.
In November, 1689, this Ebenezer Crane, being then twenty-
four years of age, married Mary Tolman, a daughter of Thomas
Tolman of Dorchester, and five years younger than himself.
The Tolmans were always prominent in the annals of their
town, and they yet live upon land which has been in the pos-
session of the family since the settlement of the country. For
over fifty years a Tolman was town clerk of Dorchester.
Ebenezer Crane, however, was soon separated from his young-
wife ; for, what with French and Indian wars, those were
troubled times. Married in November 1689, in August 1690
his name is found in the muster-roll of a company of soldiers,
seventy-five in all, who were enlisted in Milton and Dorches-
ter, and sent out as part of the unfortunate Quebec expedition
of 1690, under command of Sir William Phips. Of the two
thousand men composing the land force of that expedition,
only about two hundred were lost, but of those two hundred no
less than forty-six, it is said, belonged to the Dorchester com-
pany. They may have been stricken with the small-pox, or
they may have been in some vessel which foundered at sea, but
not the half of those who went forth ever returned. Ebenezcr
Crane was among the mpre fortunate twenty-nine who found
their way back, and presently he moved over to the North Pre-
cinct of Braintree, as Quincy was then called. His death, in
1725, is, however, recorded in Milton.
Those were the days of patriarchal families. His father had
ten children ; Ebenezer Crane had twelve. Tenth among
the twelve, and sixth among eight sons, was Thomas Crane,
who, born in Braintree in 1710, married Deborah Owen, also of
Braintree, or Quincy now, in 1732. He was twenty-two and
she seventeen, and in the August following their marriage,
three months before their first child was born, they were both
admitted as members of the church here, the Rev. John Han-
cock, father of the patriot of a generation later, being then its
pastor. Thomas and Deborah Crane had but five children, the
third of whom, a son, was born on the 1 ith of September, 1737,
and christened Joseph. Presently, in 1757, this Joseph Crane,
being then twenty years of age, married Polly Savil, who was
three years younger than himself; for early marriages, as
well as large families, were then in vogue. The sixth child
of this couple was a son, whom they called Thomas. Born in
May, 1770, the second Thomas Crane, in November, 1796, mar-
ried Sarah Baxter, a daughter of Daniel and Prudence Baxter
of Quincy. They had six 'children. The third of the six was
a son, born on the 18th of October, 1803, whom they named
after his father ; and it is to the memory of the Thomas Crane,
thus born, third of the name and fifth in direct descent from
the original Henry Crane, that this structure has been reared.
There is one thing very noticeable in tracing through a cen-
tury and a half the descent of a genuine New England family
like the Cranes. It is curious to see how pure the English
blood was kept. The names are all English names, — Henry
and Ebenezer and Joseph and Thomas. The mothers —
Marys and Pollys and Sarahs, with one Prudence — are
Tolmans and Savils and Baxters, standard Dorchester and
Braintree names from the beginning, names with which the
town records are full. There is no admixture of any foreign
element. It is pure, old New England stock.
The Cranes were not rich. Indeed, before the year 1825 few
New England people were rich, and the Cranes do not seem to
have been at best more than well to do. They lived in the
southern and western part of the town, and the homestead,
which was standing until about ten years ago, passed into the
hands of one of the older branches of the family. Though
connected soon or late, by marriage, with almost every name
familiar to the annals of Quincy, I cannot find that the Cranes
were ever town officers, or deacons, or delegates to the General
Court, or in any way prominent in local affairs. From gener-
ation to generation their lives were the usual lives of common
hard-working New England yeomen ; they were born, they
married and had children, and presently they died. And
these events, and these only, are recorded concerning them ;
unless, indeed, as in the case of Ebenezer Crane, at some time
their names found a place on the muster-rolls of the French
or the Indian or the Revolutionary war.
Such was the life of Thomas Crane, the father ; born in
1770, just as the Revolutionary troubles were about to begin,
and married in 1796, four years after the old North Precinct
was set off from the town of Braintree and called Quincy.
A few years after his marriage to Sarah Baxter this Thomas
Crane left Quincy, and made his home for a time on George's
Island, in Boston Bay, where Fort Warren was afterwards built
and now stands. That island then belonged to one Caleb
Rice, and contained about thirty-five acres of land, rising on
the ocean side to a bluff some fifty feet above high-water mark.
Not until 1825 did it pass into the hands of the city of Boston,
and work on Fort Warren was begun in 1833. During the
earliest years of the century, while Thomas Crane lived there,
George's was a farm, and place to which stock was sent for
keeping ; and his house was also a house of call for such ex-
cursionists as, during the season in those earlier and simpler
days, had occasion for a place of refreshment in the bay. Here,
on the 1 8th of October, 1803, that son was born who, nearly
seventy-two years later, on the 1st of April, 1875, died in the
city of New York.
Thomas Crane the younger was a typical man. His career,
as you will presently see, was not in any respect dramatic. It
affords no episodes to which a biographer, much less an orator,
could skilfully lead up, and then dwell upon them, sure of the
sympathy of his audience. He was merely a self-educated, self-
made son of New England, well-intentioned and clear-headed,
who, a youth, went out from his home into the great world
and there amassed a fortune, preserving, amid all temptations,
his New England birthright traits of simplicity, thrift, straight-
forward honesty and deep religious feeling. He did not infuse
himself into great movements with which, becoming forever a
part of them, he identified his career ; on the contrary he was
a quiet, domestic man, silent, strong and practical. Satisfied
with the position he had won, and doing his honest day's work
in it, he had no ambition for office or worldly distinction.
Thomas Crane, therefore, does not stand forward and arrest
attention as an imposing individuality ; and it is the very fact
that, being just what he was and doing what he did, he does
not so stand forth, — it is this fact which makes him a typical,
a representative man, a man whom it is well to commemo-
rate. He represents almost ideally what was strongest and,
upon the whole, best in that remarkable race of men to which
It has been said very often, and with sufficient truth, that
the three great staples of New England are ice and rocks and
men. New England, since the year 1800, has indeed been for
this continent what Asia once was for Europe, the nursery of
nations. In its case the biblical injunction to be fruitful and
multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it, has been strictly
complied with ; and there has gone forth from it a column, almost
countless in number, of men and women of the pure English
blood and the rough New England breeding, who have carried
their native thrift and energy, and the social and political and
religious teachings of their birthplace, through all the broad '
belt of country lying west of them, until they found themselves
stopped by the waters of the Pacific. From Mason and
Dixon's line on the South, to the great lakes on the North, they
penetrated every nook and corner between the Falls of Niagara
and the Golden Gate. They leavened the whole lump. It is
now safe to say that this New England race — this Greater
Britain, as English writers have called it — is destined to play
no small part in the future history, not of this continent, (in
that the predominance of its part is already settled,) but no
small part in the history of civilization itself. The future is
theirs. Of this migrating column Thomas Crane was one.
More than that, he was, and to the last remained, in his own
person and character, representative of whatever was best and
strongest and most individual in it. In commemorating here
the individual, we also commemorate the mass.
Those who composed the great New England migration
were the direct result of two centuries of the surroundings of
others who had preceded and led up to them. They had been
undergoing the educational process, — so to speak, they had
been at school for two hundred years before they were born.
Men and women of this native growth, they were then trans-
planted to a richer, a more generous soil. But though they
changed their skies, they did not change their minds ; and
where they went they carried New England with them. To
understand the men, therefore, we must understand the sur-
roundings amid which they grew up ; and, in the case of those
who were born and educated before the year 1825, that — at
any rate here in Quincy — is no longer an easy thing to do.
The fact is — and it is none the less a fact because a singular
and a startling one — that the Quincy of 1825 is further re-
moved from us, than was the Quincy of 1825 from the Brain-
tree North Precinct of 1660. The changes of the last sixty
years have vastly exceeded those of the preceding century and
a half. Born in 1803, and leaving his home in 1829, the
younger Thomas Crane grew up in another world from that we
live in, — a world remote to us, even though many who walk
our streets still easily recall it. What, then, was that Quincy
of the first quarter of the century ?
In 1829 the present order of things, in communities known
as civilized, had not yet begun. In England a rough miner
and self-educated mechanic was laboriously puzzling out the
locomotive engine ; here, in Quincy, Gridley Bryant had three
years before opened the original Granite Railway ; but not for
two years yet was the first Massachusetts railroad chartered ;
not for nine years was the " Sirius " to cross the Atlantic ;
not for fifteen years was the first telegraph wire to be strung.
The world was in the stage-coach period. The steamboat had
indeed been introduced, but it still took two or three days to
go from Boston to New York ; and when, in 1826, John Quincy
Adams hurried on from Washington to Quincy to his fathers
death-bed, he noted in his diary that, leaving Washington at
five o'clock in the morning of the 9th of July, he heard of
John Adams's death — which had occurred five days before —
when he got to Baltimore, and he reached Boston at nine
o'clock on the evening of the 12th. Travelling with all the
haste he could, he had accomplished his journey in eighty-eight
hours, or at an average speed of about five miles an hour.
Ohio was then the West ; and the valley of the Mississippi,
hardly entered upon by any one, had not yet seen the first
indication of the coming inroad from New England.
Quincy in those days was very much what it had been from
the beginning, — a sequestered New England country town,
inhabited by a race of one blood and language, whose fathers
had lived there before them in just the way they were living
there then. It was a quiet, sleepy, conservative place. In
1803, when Thomas Crane was born, the entire population of
the town did not exceed twelve hundred souls ; and when he
moved away, twenty-six years later, it was but two thousand.
They were all native Americans. There was not a foreign face
to be seen or a foreign accent to be heard. The blood was
pure English ; the names were all English ; but the education
was not English. That was wholly of New England, — the
education of the church, the tavern, the town-meeting, the
training-field, and the common school.
As from the beginning, the town still clustered near the
church, which indeed was the nucleus about which it had
slowly grown up. The parish was the precinct. Unlike most
of its sister towns, Quincy, however, even then boasted two
religious societies : the original Puritan congregational parish,-
the established church of town and state; and the Episcopal
church, which had been planted here a whole century before.
No other denominational society had yet organized itself, nor
was any other organized until 1832 ; and in 1828, as nearly as
can be ascertained, the Mass had never yet been celebrated in
The meeting-house, that which was in fact the single and
common place of worship, stood upon the village green and train-
in2*-o;round, close to where this edifice now is. The old wooden
structure, the walls of which had then sheltered, and within
which in winter had shivered, three generations of his fore-
fathers, was removed the year before Thomas Crane left the
town. Close to its entrance up to the last had stood the
horse-block, just as it had stood there from the beginning ;
and all about it on the Sabbath were hitched the rude car-
riages and wagons which had brought the congregation from
their homes. In that dull, monotonous life, the going to church
was the event of the week, and the gossip of the meeting-
house and the discourses of the ministers were the staple in-
tellectual nutriment. They supplied the place, so far as the
place was supplied, of lectures and concerts and newspapers
and current literature now.
Long before Thomas Crane was born, however, the old Puri-
tan theological heat had burnt itself out in Quincy, and the
doctrine preached from the pulpit here was then hardly a liv-
ing one. It did not take hold of the people. They went to
meeting because their fathers had gone there and they had
been brought up to it, and because it made a break in the
week ; but as a living and guiding force the pulpit had in
Quincy ceased to make itself felt. It was a fading tradition.
Nor did the sister Episcopal church fill the seat thus vacated.
On the contrary, always and everywhere an exotic in New
England, that church here was then in a state of utter decrep-
itude. The life hardly lingered in it, and it had none to im-
part. Those who thirsted could not hope to quench their
thirst from that source. The church edifice stood in its little
burying-ground, — the old churchyard after the English wont,
— but within its walls, during the first quarter of the century,
hardly more life stirred than stirred within the graves which
surrounded it. In silence its pulpit awaited a later revival.
As there was in reality but one church, so also there was but
one school in the town. There was no West Quincy, or At-
lantic, or Wollaston, or even South Quincy or Quincy Point
then,— outlying districts of the town as large as the town it-
self. Atlantic was known as the Farms, Wollaston was a cow-
pasture, West Quincy a wilderness called the Woods, Quincy
Point a region designated as the Old Fields, which until 1812
had no road through it, or any connection with the country
beyond the Fore-river. Thomas Crane, the father, lived near
a creek leading out of that river, and which still bears his
name ; but during his life his farm never had a public way
through it. It lay by itself, as did the farms about it, — out-
side, as it were, even of the little Quincy' world, and secluded
Thus there was then small occasion for great school-houses
in all sections of the town, for there were not many children to
occupy them. None the less, while the voters annually appro-
priated from $400, in 1804, to $700, in 1828, to a single gram-
mar school at the centre, they also voted sums, varying from $5
to $120, to each ot the outlying districts to provide for the sum-
mer education of its youth. The simple building, which served
both as a town-hall and as a central school-house, until the last
day of the year 181 5, was placed on the unfenced training-
ground, facing the Plymouth road. Then destroyed by fire,
the better building, which in 181 7 succeeded it, cost but the
modest sum of $2100. That building stood on the southern
verge of the little cemetery opposite, or graveyard as it was
most properly called, for a yard indeed it was. Our fathers
were not a sentimental race. There was no Decoration Day
then. That little graveyard held the ashes of six generations
of villagers, — the rude forefathers of the hamlet, — but until
1809 it stood unfenced and uncared for by the roadside, a
thoroughfare and a common in which cattle grazed among
tombstones and lay between graves.
Thomas Crane, however, had to do with the school-house in
Quincy, and not with the graveyard upon which the windows
of that school-house looked. During the first quarter of the
century, though there was but a single school-house in the
town, that single school-house after a fashion sufficed for exist-
ing needs. Some children had indeed to walk several miles a
day, — the Crane children at least four miles; but they were
sturdy country boys and girls, and it does not appear that they
or others were the worse for it ; the probabilities, on the con-
trary, are that they were a good deal the better. Within the
school-house, when they got there, were gathered, during the
winter months, all the children of the town, 204 scholars, as
the Committee reported in 1820; of whom 79 — among" them
doubtless young Thomas Crane — belonged to the cyphering-
school, so called. It was no cause for wonder, therefore, that
the Committee further reported that the " room was so much
crowded that the scholars were obliged to wait one for the
other for seats, notwithstanding the master gave up his desk,
and used every other means in his power to accommodate
them." To remedy this evil the Committee then went on to
submit a plan for certain alterations, at an estimated cost of
$200, by which 250 scholars were to be brought together in
one room and under one master, " with an assistant when
necessary." This, remember, was in Quincy in the year 1820.
Two hundred and fifty children in one room, crowded into
" seats calculated to accommodate two scholars when writing,
and three when they are not writing" ! Such, in the better
class of towns, was the New England country schooling during
the first quarter of the century. Such was the only schooling
young Thomas Crane ever had.
In this common room were gathered children of all ages,
from the overgrown lad, already a man, to the little girl learn-
ing her letters ; and during a portion of the school-days of
young Crane that room must have been presided over by
Master William Seaver, whose name is as deeply cut in the
educational annals of Quincy as, according to all tradition, the
rod he so freely used, after the fashion of his time, cut into the
backs of his refractory pupils. If the use of the rod would
indeed have saved the child, not many of the youth of Quincy,
between 18 12 and 1830, ought in life to have gone astray.
None the less it should be added that his old pupils always re-
tained a kindly feeling towards Master Seaver, who taught
here for twenty-dght years, and saw the old system go out and
the new system come in. Up to 1829, however, the primi-
tive New England system was wholly unreformed. The great
logs of wood blazed in open fireplaces at both ends of the
unpainted, barrack-like room, while the children were crowded
on rude settles which might have been handed down from the
pre- Revolutionary period, so hacked and disfigured were they
by the jack-knives of succeeding generations of boys.
The entire school appropriation for 1803 was but $430,
and in 1829 it had only risen to $1,400, of which Master
Seaver received $500 as salary. These sums seem to us
small sums, and they were small ; yet they were all the town
could afford. The people then were poor and few. In the
election of 1803 there were but 87 votes cast, and in 1828
only 123 ; the latter was a Presidential election, also, and
a citizen of Quincy was one of the candidates. The elec-
tion of 1828, it is true, was not warmly contested in Massa-
chusetts, — the vote of Quincy, for instance, being nearly
unanimous ; but the largest vote ever cast in the town before
1830 was but 217. Poor as they were few, these people were
economical because they had to be economical. A saving
thrift was ground into them by their necessities. In public
as in private every cent of outgo had to be watched. In the
houses wheaten bread was a luxury rarely seen. Cornmeal
was the staple of life ; molasses was the condiment ; the barrel
of salted meat was the stand-by. But the public expenditures
will perhaps afford the best scale of comparison. In 18 10,
when Thomas Crane, the father, moved up to Quincy Point
from George's Island, the entire appropriation made by Quincy
for public purposes — and those purposes included the parish
as well as the town — was but $3,200, or $2.50 on the average
to an inhabitant. In 1829, when Thomas Crane, the son, went
to New York, and when the parish had been separated from
the town, the appropriation was $3,500, or $1.75 to an inhabi-
tant ; it is now about $12 to an inhabitant. The instruc-
tion then afforded in the public schools was, perhaps, not of
the best, when judged by present standards; but in 1827 it
cost the town exactly $3.00 a year for each child taught, in-
stead of over $i6 in 1880. In 1814 a report was made on the
maintenance of the poor; and the average cost of it in three
neighboring towns was stated at 83 cents per week for each
pauper. Such were the simplicity and economy of that period
as compared with this. The poor were no poorer than now ;
that they could not be. Comparatively, however, they were
far more numerous, and actually no one was rich.
But the community was not poor only; it was wholly with-
out what would now be called appliances. Those composing it
had houses and rude tools and unproductive land ; that was
about all. As a community it was, as we would consider, cut
completely off from active communication with the world out-
side, and thrown back upon itself; while within itself little was
to be found in the way of intellectual nutriment beyond dry
husks. There was no Public Library, no Adams Academy,
no High School in the town; — as we have seen, not even a
public graded school. President John Adams, keenly recalling
the hard, up-hill struggle of his own youth, had indeed, in 1822,
given to Quincy that library of his own, which now at last,
after sixty years of wandering and neglect, finds a fitting resting
place in the alcoves of the Crane Memorial Hall ; but the
books in that library were neither accessible, nor adapted to
the needs of a country boy craving knowledge. In the village
there was a private association which owned a few of the books
of the day, and to this young Thomas Crane was a subscriber.
Doubtless he mastered the little store of learning thus made
accessible ; but I cannot find that in the house of Thomas
Crane, the father, though he was a man, for those times, well
to do, there was a single book for his children to read or learn
from/ except the Bible and Pilgrim's Progress. Neither did
the modern newspaper then exist. Take up any one of half
a dozen Boston papers now daily spread broadcast over the
town, and it is an education in itself; the world of to-day,
intellectual, political, social, geographical, is condensed and
photographed in its columns. Everything is there popular-
ized and brought within easy reach of the poorest. Then go
back and examine, in the files of the Thomas Crane Library,
a newspaper of the year when young Crane left Quincy.
It is not the same thing ; it is scarcely even a suggestion of
it. For sale nowhere, sent only to subscribers, it is the
newspaper of the politician, the merchant and the profes-
sional man, — and very poor and meagre at that. There is
nothing popular or instructive about it. It was not meant
for the million, and it never reached them. The people's
newspaper was, in 1829, yet to be invented. So also of cor-
respondence. Beyond the narrow circle of the educated gentry
it was an unknown art. A post-office had indeed existed in
Quincy since 1795 ; and during the youth of Thomas Crane it
found an abiding-place in the building which stood where the
former Hancock House now stands, and there it remained for
six-and-thirty years. Even I can remember when post-office
and tap-room were one, and the thin mail-bag was flung on the
whiskey-reeking bar, over which its contents were presently
distributed. Before 1829, however, mails were infrequent, and
the rates of postage enormous, and no letter or paper ever
reached remote families like the Cranes. They lived, perforce,
in and by themselves.
Such was Quincy ; such was the ordinary New England
country town at the time the New England column began to
move. The surroundings were hard. Those who broke their
way successfully through them did so by virtue of sheer, native
strength. Thomas Crane the younger did this. It was no in-
considerable thing to do ; and because he did it, and did it
successfully, his Memorial Building stands here in his native
town to-day. Here it was that he passed his youth ; here it
was that he developed into manhood ; here he received those
impressions which shaped his riper character. That the cir-
cumstances were especially favorable, or his surroundings* alto-
gether good, no one will maintain who has made a study of
them. We are altogether too much disposed, in looking back
on. the successful careers of the rough-hewn, self-taught men of
that generation, to see only the Arcadian character of the
earlier times. We are apt to assume that at least they began
life with simpler, purer, more patriarchal and virtuous sur-
roundings than the present, — that they were not subjected to
our temptations, even if they did not enjoy our advantages.
This is all false. It was a rugged, stubborn, gnarly race, that
of New England which I have endeavored to portray, — accus-
tomed to self-care and self-rule, laborious, thrifty, money-saving ;
but, judged by our standards, those composing it were far from
refined, and neither abstemious nor self-contained. They were
harsh rather than virtuous ; more austere than moral. They
had their besetting sins.
Chief among these besetting sins was intemperance. I have
already named the tavern as being — with the church, the town-
meeting and the public school — one of the educational influ-
ences of the earlier period. Few who have not studied deeply
the history of that period have any conception what a part in
it the tavern played. It was the rough club-house and political
debating school, — the predecessor of the caucus and the ward-
room ; it was also to many — to altogether too many — the
yawning gateway of Hell. Rum was the bane of New Eng-
land ; and it remained the bane of those who went forth from
New England. John Adams, writing in his diary in 1796,
exclaimed, in view of what he then saw going on among the
workmen on his farm : " If the ancients drank wine as our
people drink rum and cider, it is no wonder we read of so
many possessed with devils ;" and as late as 1841 the town
of Quincy voted to give its alms-house paupers "a temperate
use of ardent spirits when they work on the road or farm."
No man, however, had a chance for success in life who did
not keep himself free from this curse ; and of those who went
out from New England to seek their fortunes, it is safe to say
that rum ruined, body and soul, the vast majority. In 1825
that temperance movement, which has since wrought such a
wonder of reform for New England, had not begun to make
itself felt ; and, indeed, the first of those societies which, in
the strong language of the day, were to prevent Americans
from becoming "a community of drunkards," was not organ-
ized in Boston until a year later, in 1826. The road young
Crane had to tread was, therefore, not a safe one. It was, on
the contrary, dangerously beset ; and, like all the rest, he had
only himself to rely on.
There was but one real safeguard against the danger. It
was found in the simple morals and strong religious feeling
which prevailed at so many hearthstones. Those who went
forth thus shielded were saved ; the rest were lost. The harsh
general tone of the church and the magistrate counted for
little that was good ; indeed, it led rather to a greater license
in reaction. It was the innate or cultivated moral sense and
religious quickening which saved. Fortunately for Thomas
Crane, with an apparently native self-respect, he also had from
an early age a strong religious tendency. Whence he derived
it cannot be ascertained, for, as I have already intimated,
Quincy was not a town remarkable for its theological fervor.
The strong, sulphurous doctrines which gave its moral force
to Calvinism certainly were not heard from the Rev. Peter
Whitney's pulpit. At home young Crane had no peculiar
advantages. The religious yearning was there, however, and
as he grew to man's estate he was conscious that it was not
satisfied in Quincy. His father had died in 1818, not yet
forty-nine. Though a substantial farmer and a man well off
for the times, he left a wife and six children to divide his small
estate, — the oldest of the children being not yet of age, while
young Thomas was only fifteen. A strong, robust, well-knit
lad, the choice of a means of earning his living was before
him. He could not well be a lawyer, a minister, or a doctor,
— a member of one of the three learned professions as they
were called. He had not the education, nor had he the means
or time to get it. He must earn his bread at once ; and he
might make shoes, or work on a farm, or cut stone to do it.
He tried his hand at shoe-making for awhile, but the confine-
ment injured his health ; and fortunately for him, fortunately
for his native town, the lad's natural inclinations then carried
him to the more robust, the hardier calling. He became a
stone-cutter, and as a journeyman learned his trade.
It was now, during those most dangerous years of life which
end youth and precede maturity, — the period of false and
callow manhood, — it was during these years that young
Crane's religious sense began to stir and befriend him. In his
case it was simply the form which intellectual quickening took.
The boy had a head of his own, and a brain that worked. Had
he lived later he would probably have taken to some one of
those schools of philosophy and thought which have, with such
regular recurrence, marked the periods of the century. He
would have got the intellectual food he craved by following
Bentham or Mill or Carlyle or Spenser, or possibly Emerson
or Parker. He was, however, either beyond their reach or
before their time; and so his brain-hunger turned on the only
thing at hand, —the Bible and religion, the old New England
Eastern Massachusetts was at this time in something of a
religious ferment. Universalism, the most liberal creed of the
day, was striking its roots into the soil. Murray and Ballou
were at the height of their fame ; their tracts were distributed
broadcast ; large meetings were being held in all the towns. I
do not know that this revival reached in any active form the
quiescent village of Quincy, but if the seed which fell here fell
mainly in stony places, some of it at least came in the path
of Thomas Crane, and bore fruit an hundred-fold. Father
Hosea Ballou, as he was affectionately called, then preached
to a congregation which met in School Street, in Boston.
However or wherever he first heard him, in listening to Mr.
Ballou the young Quincy stone-cutter now found that nutri-
ment he craved. He could get to hear him but in one way.
There were no public Sunday conveyances then ; a journey-
man stone-cutter could not afford to indulge in horse or wagon ;
the distance from Quincy Point to School Street was ten
good miles. Young Crane walked them. A religious feeling
strong enough to induce a man hardly more than a boy to
tramp twenty miles of a Sunday to listen to his favorite
preacher, was worth something. He who did it had the
making of something in him. If more of those who, during
the first forty years of the century, left Quincy to seek their
fortunes, had felt moved to do as much, not so many of them
would at a later day have disappeared in failure.
Years passed on. Having mastered his calling as a stone-
cutter, the young man began to look abroad from Quincy for a
wider field. He had no money, no connections, not much
education ; his capital was simply a strong healthy body, a
clear head, and his skill as a stone-cutter. With these, backed
by frugal, temperate, honest habits, he, in 1829, went out into
the world. It was a good stock in trade. No connections, no
opening before him ready made to his hand, carried him to
New York. He went there just as thousands and hundreds
of thousands, first and last, have gone there, — a young man
seeking his fortune, a workman in search of work. He went
there just as Quincy boys have gone there before and since ;
and just as they are going there and elsewhere now. His
elder brother had preceded him and was already in New York ;
and the way they met is a curious illustration of how differ-
ent those days were from these, and how few and little used
the means of communication were. Though both were in New
York, neither of the two brothers knew where the other was,
and they finally met on the steps of the Universalist church,
either in Prince or Duane Street, to which, doubtless, Thomas
Crane had found his way on the first Sabbath after his arrival
in the strange city.
There, however, at twenty-six years of age, he was, in the
place thenceforward to be his home. Instead of looking aim-
lessly about for short-cuts to fortune, he went to work at once
at his trade, and began to earn day wages hammering stone.
At that time, and during the next few years, several attempts
were made by associations of journeyman stone-cutters to start
yards in New York upon a co-operative plan. With one of
these, on the east side of the city, the new-comer from Quincy
presently identified himself. His, however, was too active a
mind, and he had too large a brain, to permit him long to
remain a journeyman, and as early as 1835 he was a master
workman ; already he had enrolled himself among the captains
It was forty-seven years after he went to New York that
Thomas Crane died, — nearly half a century ; and it was a half
century of such general growth and development as the world
had not before seen. In 1829 it was but four years since
Governor De Witt Clinton had opened to navigation the Erie
Canal. When it was thus for the first time brought in direct
communication with the great lakes, New York was a city of
less than. 200,000 inhabitants. In 1831 the first link of what
is now the New York Central Railroad was opened to travel.
In 1844 the telegraph went into operation. Of more imme-
diate concern to Thomas Crane, however, was that great fire
which broke out in New York on the 16th of December, 1835,
and which, burning for three whole days, laid in ruins the
busiest parts of the town. All these events, and especially the
last, had a direct bearing on his fortunes. The canal, the rail-
road, the telegraph and the fire combined to make out of the
quiet city of 1829 the bustling metropolis of to-day. New
York, as we see it, was to be built, and it was Thomas Crane's
work in life to help supply the granite with which to build it.
His opportunity was there, and he availed himself of it. Not
much more can be said of any man. To be equal to the occa-
sion in life when it presents itself makes human success.
During nearly thirty years of as active construction as any
great city ever saw, there were few buildings of magnitude
erected in New York, in which granite was used, to which
Thomas Crane did not contribute, and which did not con-
tribute to him.
At a very early day he began to buy out his associates in
the stone-yard. It was the old story. They were impatient
and improvident ; they chafed at delay and the slow movement
of things ; they saw, or thought they saw, better chances else-
where. So they made short-cuts to fortune, and doubtless
remained poor all their lives. One by one they sold their
interests to the clearer-headed, more patient man, who was
strong enough to bide his time. It was simply another case of
the survival of the fittest. Solid judgment, shrewd honesty
and temperate habits did the work. Among them all Thomas
Crane was the fittest to survive, in that he had most of these
qualities ; and accordingly survive the rest he did. Worldly
prosperity soon flowed in upon him. Literally, he built his
house upon a rock. Granite, not speculation, was at the foun-
dation of his fortune. He made his contracts, ever growing
larger and larger ; he increased the size of his yards, and
bought new ones. More and more stone came to them from
the quarries here at Quincy and at Millstone Point. A larger
number of workmen handled his tools. In 1837, when the
great financial storm burst, he suffered with the rest. He did
not, however, succumb. Once that crisis was weathered, he
stood firm on his feet ; and he was firm on them all the rest
of his life The way grew clear. The prodigious growth of
New York was now impending, and he was one of those
sagacious enough to foresee it. His stone-yards and his granite
contracts became henceforth only the basis of his growing
prosperity. He bought lands in the path of the city's devel-
opment, and it grew up to them and overran them. It overran
his stone-yards. Thus his wealth increased with the wealth of
New York, and enlarged and took new directions, under the
guidance always of that same clean-cut business judgment.
He was a bank director, an insurance-company director, a
street-railway director, a man of note on 'Change. Long before
his death his measure of success in a business walk was full, and
beyond that his ambition did not go. As I have already said, he
did not care for outward worldly distinction. Had he cared for it,
with his strong judgment and shrewd common-sense, he would
probably have worked his way to high office in the State ; for
he was one of that class of men who are less often seen than
wanted in the Senate Chamber and the Cabinet. I never met
Mr. Crane, and can therefore speak of him only from the report
of others. But I do, from personal contact, know something of
those who in recent years have played prominent parts in
many public events ; and I do not hesitate to say that the
qualities which Mr. Crane possessed, and which led to the
measure of success he coveted, are those qualities which also
win success in the other and more showy walks of life, but
which also, in those who essay to tread those walks, are not
infrequently conspicuous for their absence. Had fortune or
inclination called Thomas Crane to the position, he would have
administered a department of the national government with
the same good judgment and success with which he managed
his stone-yard. The qualities were all there ; it was the occa-
sion and the call which were wanting.
The man's ambition did not turn that way. His tastes were
domestic ; his devotion was to his calling. Not that he lacked
public spirit, or was indifferent to the great questions of the
day. On the contrary, he carried out with him the teachings
of his New England home, and never forgot them. The church
to which he belonged, and of which he was long a trustee, —
the old Orchard Street Church, as it was familiarly called, under
the pastorale of Mr. Crane's intimate personal friend, Dr.
Thomas J. Sawyer, — this church, well known throughout New
York and the Universalist denomination, had in it a strong
New England leaven. Prominent among its members was
Horace Greeley, and with him and his teachings Mr. Crane
deeply sympathized. The nature of his political affiliations
may be inferred from the name of a son born to him in 1850,
and" whose premature and sudden death in 1869 fell upon the
father with a crushing blow ; this son the father christened
after Mr. Greeley's great political chieftain, — the man who
may be said to have embodied in himself the Whig party, —
Henry Clay. But it was during the Antislavery struggle that
Mr. Crane found himself most strongly drawn to Greeley and
the " Tribune." He felt then deeply, and went all lengths. To
be an Antislavery man in New York City before 1861 was not
popular. Thomas Crane, however, sold his granite, not his
political principles ; and a zealous, outspoken Antislavery man
he remained from the beginning to the bitter end.
Not that he took an active part in city politics. On the con-
trary, he was one of a minority there, in numbers contemptible.
More than that, he belonged to a class of men who, to the
great misfortune of the city and the country, were long since
driven out of New York city politics or made powerless in it.
It was in his church and denomination that his public spirit
found its freest expression. He was a pillar of the Universalist
cause, and the treasurer and financial manager of its Relief
Association. Later, when the leaders of the Universalist de-
nomination founded Tufts College, he was a subscriber to its
funds, and he held the position of one of its trustees from the
time it was organized until he died. Indeed, his death, it is
said, was hastened by the fatigue of a journey made in declin-
ing health to attend to his duties in connection with it. Of
its library also he was a benefactor.
Of Mr. Craned other and private life through those forty-
six years after he left Quincy, it remains to speak. It was not
uncheckered, though in the main a happy one. Three years
after going to New York, in 1832, he married Sarah S. Munn,
of Gill, in Connecticut, — the first of his race to marry a woman
not Massachusetts born. The following summer he was a
childless widower, his young wife having been swept away in
her twenty-first year, hardly more than a girl, one of the ear-
liest victims of the cholera when it scourged New York in
1833. A little more than three years later, in November, 1836,
he married Clarissa Lawrence Starkey, of Troy, in New Hamp-
shire, who was to remain his wife for nine and thirty years,
and be the mother of his eight children. It is she who now,
in conjunction with two surviving sons, erects this monument
to the memory of the husband and the father.
Having his home always in New York, a portion of Mr.
Crane's summers for many years was passed in Quincy, and to
Quincy he paid frequent visits to the end. It was character-
istic of the man that he never outgrew his feeling for the place.
He loved to come back to the surroundings and friends of his
boyhood. He was fond of the water, and liked when down in the
bay to land on George's Island, revisiting his birthplace and the
scene of his first recollections, for when his father moved across
to the mainland he was already a boy of seven. It all seemed
to recall the glad confidence of life's morning. Even after he
had purchased that rocky country seat at Stamford, the gradual
transformation of which into a garden became one of the great
pleasures of his later years, Quincy Point still retained its hold
upon him. His tastes, too, were simple. A homeish man, he
cared nothing for display, and to the end retained the habits of
his youth. His greatest trial was the loss of children ; for, a
deeply affectionate father, he had four daughters born to him,
not one of whom survived the years of infancy. Two sons
also he lost, who had grown to man's estate. Thus Thomas
Crane passed from youth to manhood, and from manhood to
old age, — an active business-man, a public-spirited citizen, a
devoted husband, a loving and a sorrowing father. At last,
when for nearly two years he had passed the age allotted to
man, after a short decline, the long, well-spent, successful life
drew to its close. On the first day of April, 1875, he quietly
died in his own bed and among his own people.
Here in Quincy his monument stands and will stand, and
here it is fit and proper it should stand ; here, if he could
have been consulted, he would most have wished to have it
stand. It stands close by the familiar way over which, with
brothers and sisters, he walked as a boy to the village school
close by, — the way which, a young man, he trod as he went
to that church in the city where he heard God's word as he
needed it, — the way which, later, when he returned to his
birthplace in the full tide of mature and successful life, carried
him back to those places he loved so well, in which his youth
had been passed. Quincy was to him always a haven of rest
and refreshment. It was to Quincy that he liked to go back
from the noise and bustle and dust of the great city ; it was
in Quincy that he would most have wished to be remembered.
And he will be remembered here. His name, written as it were
in water where he lived and did his work, will now long be in
Quincy a household word. And it is right also that it should be
so ; for, take him for all in all, Thomas Crane stands easily first
to-day among the many children Quincy has contributed to the
great New England migration. He was the most shining ex-
ample of those qualities of intelligence, energy, persistence, hon-
esty, temperance and God-fearing morality which made that
New England migration the force it was and the yet greater
force it is destined to be. As the most shining example that this
town -produced, it is therefore fit and proper that his monument,
reared by pious hands, should stand here by the roadside, a
conspicuous memorial for coming generations. As I said when
I began, I repeat now, — it is more, far more, than a monument
to an individual. There is a sermon to the young in its every
stone. It stands as a reminder of those sterling, homely quali-
ties (qualities which all possess, and yet so few know how to
utilize) which made him — whose name the building bears and
whose effigy, carved by the hand of genius, looks down from its
walls — the man he was. It is no monument of human great-
ness, of conquests and brilliant deeds. For the mass of those
who shall enter its doors it is better, much better than that.
Not all men can be great ; and the ways of greatness are not
the ways of happiness. We can, however, all be temperate ;
we can be industrious ; we can be patient and persevering ; we
can cleave to that which is true and honest and of good repute.
All this Thomas Crane did ; and because he did it he achieved
success and happiness in life, and his monument stands here
to-day, — the monument of a son of whom his birthplace may
well be proud, and whose name her children will long hold in
To each civilization there belongs its special modes of com-
memorating the dead. As you pass out of the gate of San
Sebastiano at Rome, and follow the famous Appian Way, at a
distance of two miles or so from the city walls you pass the
famous tomb of Cecilia Metella, built of great blocks of hewn
stone, securely set on a vast and solid foundation. The dearly
beloved wife of a great Roman patrician, her husband erected
that sombre, dreary mausoleum to protect forever her ashes,
while it perpetuated the memory of her name and of her
virtues. There it has stood for nearly twenty centuries ; and
there to-day it stands, an empty memorial of a buried past,
useful, in its massive ugliness, not even to the dead.
" Thus much alone we know, — Metella died,
The wealthiest Roman's wife : Behold his love or pride ! "
Now let us turn to what Tennyson has called "the gray
metropolis of the North," the ancient city of Edinburgh.
There, close to where was Kirk-a-Fields, may be seen a quaint
quadrangular building standing by itself, and known as George
Heriot's Hospital. It is a school made familiar to all through
the pages of Walter Scott, founded by the goldsmith of James
I. of England, who in 1603 followed his master from Edin-
burgh to London, and there amassed great wealth. Dying
twenty years later, his thoughts reverted to his native city; and,
after making full provision for such relatives as he had, he left
the residue of his fortune to found a school in which the chil-
dren of Edinburgh freemen should be brought up and taught.
For two centuries and a half George Heriot's Hospital has
made its founder's name a household word in the city of his
Here in New England, fortunately for us, our monuments to
the noted dead — the memorials erected to perpetuate their
memories — partake rather of the cheerful, useful character of
George Heriot's Hospital, than of the sterile majesty of Cecilia's
tomb. Through our schools, our libraries, our churches and our
college halls those gone before are remembered. In this very
region, once known as Braintree, of which Quincy was a part
until eleven years before Thomas Crane was born, — in this very
region, now divided into four separate towns, there are to-day
four public libraries, three seminary endowments and a church
which preserve the memories of their founders, or of those in
whose name they were founded. " Being dead he yet speaketh."
Those words should be cut deep over the portal of each of these
buildings. The mortal remains of the founders — those of
Thomas Crane, as of John Adams and Sylvanus Thayer —
moulder in the dust. No monument, for aught we know or
they would care, protects them, and long since they have dis-
solved into their elements. Their work goes on.
Neither can I now see any reason why this building, in itself
an education in art, should not stand here as long as George
Heriot's Hospital has stood, or shall stand, in Edinburgh. The
lapse of two centuries will but soften and lend charm to its
symmetry ; and I can well imagine, that when the twenty-first
century is •growing old, and Quincy, a city in itself, shall be
part of the greater city covering all the shore of the bay, — I
can well imagine that then, amid a wealth and population and
knowledge and art such as we cannot imagine, strangers will
pause in the crowded street to look with delight at the quiet,
vine-covered Memorial Hall, standing by itself against a back-
ground of trees. They will ask its history and its meaning ;
and just as the name of George Heriot, the Edinburgh gold-
smith, comes to us with a remote, far-away echo, — laden as it
were with memories centuries old, — so I fancy may then the
name of Thomas Crane, the Quincy stone-cutter, come to them.
It may speak of a by-gone civilization, — our present, then
become their past, unreal and quaint and primitive; but in
Quincy, as in Edinburgh, the name of the benefactor will be
familiar in the mouths of the children.
In the foregoing address I say that it was never my good fortune
to come personally in contact with Mr. Crane. I can speak of him
only from the report of many persons who knew him well at various
periods and in all relations of life. In preparing this sketch of
him and of what he did, which it has seemed to me — from its con-
nection with the man, and the building and institution which bear
his name — may have an enduring interest, I have intended to spare
no effort to describe him as he was. I could, however, only see Mr.
Crane as others reported him, and was unable to give that strong
reality to my presentment which can be derived from direct observa-
tion alone. It has accordingly seemed to me desirable that, in what
is intended as a personal memorial, there should something appear
which shall record the impression Mr. Crane made upon those who
had met him in his family and daily life. In the following letter
he is described as it was not in my power to describe him.
C. F. A., Jr.
Boston, 17 May, 1882.
Dear Sir, — In compliance with your request, I am glad to state my
impressions of the personal appearance, life and character of the late
Mr. Crane was a man of strong and distinct presence. His figure was
muscular and well set, of the medium height, with broad shoulders.
The hair and beard, at the time of my acquaintance with him, were
white and abundant, — the complexion somewhat florid.
His forehead was wide and high, — the nose aquiline; the eyes were
clear, full and of a bluish gray. The glance was keen, yet straightfor-
ward and sincere, with often an expression of the kindest humor.
It might be fairly said that his face did not so much invite confi-
dence as inspire it. He always struck me as possessing real solidity of
Although relying firmly upon his own conclusions, and very persistent
in carrying them to practical results, he was notably modest in statement,
— indeed, quiet and unobtrusive in all his ways.
I fancy that behind his shrewd worldly sense there was a deep stratum
of sentiment. He looked upon the foibles of his fellow-men with a mild
and humorous tolerance, — upon their more serious faults with a genuine
and helpful sympathy. I doubt, however, if he had sufficient charity for
show and pretence.
In all his family relations he was most tender and indulgent. In
political opinion a Radical, he took an ardent interest in public affairs, and
gave a generous support to the government during the war. To his
church he was devotedly attached and constant in its service.
In brief he was a New England man of the best sort in all his instincts
and aspirations, tenderly revering his old home, grateful for his prosperity,
upright, candid and true, of a clear-grained common sense, industrious,
doing every day a full and worthy day's work, with no consciousness of
great excellence, yet thoroughly self-respecting.
It seems to me that the lines from Wither's " Motto " may well be said
in his praise : —
" I have not been ashamed to confess
My lowest fortunes, or the kindnesses
Of poorest men ; nor have I proud been made,
By any favor from a great man had.
Nor ever for preferment, made I shows
Of what I was not."
Believe me, &c,
ALBERT B. OTIS.
Charles Francis Adams, Jr., Esq., Quincy.
THE MANTEL AND FIREPLACE.
THE CRANE MEMORIAL HALL.
On the 20th of February, 1880, a letter, of which the follow-
ing is a copy, was received by the selectmen of Quincy : —
26 Broad Street, New York,
Feb. 19, 1880.
To the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Quincy, Mass.
Gentlemen, — The family of my father, the late Thomas Crane
of New York, are desirous of erecting some memorial to him.
Though long a resident of New York, my father always retained a
strong feeling for the town of Quincy, where his family originated
and had resided for over a century, and where he himself passed
the earlier portion of his life. After much deliberation, therefore,
his family have thought that a memorial erected to him in Quincy
would be both more appropriate than elsewhere, and most in con-
sonance with the tender feelings and cordial interest he always
manifested therefor in his lifetime, and which he constantly ex-
pressed to us. Prior to his death, in 1875, he had made annual
visits to Quincy for many years, and his affection for his native
place never in any degree lessened.
His family, therefore, desire to make, through you, the following
proposition to the town of Quincy : they will erect an edifice to his
memory, to be known as the Crane Memorial Hall, or Library, to
be held in trust forever by the town, or by some corporation author-
ized by it, for the free use of the town as a Public Library building.
On this memorial we will expend not less than twenty thousand
dollars, — we to select the architect (who shall be one of standing
and ability), the architectural design and the details of material and
construction, — should the town, on its part, be willing to dedicate
a site therefor, satisfactory to us, in some convenient and central
locality. Of the few such sites that seem suitable none has so
favorably impressed us thus far as the plot of ground formerly
owned by the late Dr. Ebenezer Woodward, and now in possession
of his nephew, we understand. This is urged simply in the way of
We shall be obliged if you will bring this matter to the notice of
the citizens of Quincy in such a way as seems to you best, and
at your earliest convenience, in order that, if this proposition be
accepted, we may proceed at once to consider the necessary ques-
tions of detail and work of construction at an early day.
I remain, &c.,
In consequence of this communication the following article
was inserted in ^the warrant for the annual town-meeting,
issued on the day Mr. Crane's letter was received : —
Art. 23. — To see what action the town will take on the proposi-
tion of the family of the late Thomas Crane in relation to erecting
a memorial building for use as a Public Library, and to see whether
the town will purchase and grade a suitable piece of ground as a
site for the same.
Subsequently, at the adjourned town-meeting held on the
22d of March, the committee on the warrant, to which the
above article had been referred, reported the following votes,
which were passed : —
Voted, That the selectmen be instructed to notify the family of
the late Thomas Crane that the town of Quincy gratefully accepts
their recent munificent proposal to erect an edifice in Quincy to his
memory, to be used as a Public Library building ; and the town
clerk is instructed to enter at large upon the town records the letter
of Albert Crane, dated February 19, 1880, conveying such proposal,
in connection with this vote.
Voted, That said building, when completed and conveyed in trust
to the town, shall be known as the Crane Memorial Hall • the
town library shall be deposited in it, and shall be thereafter called
the Thomas Crane Library.
Voted, That the selectmen and the trustees of the Public Library
are hereby constituted a special committee to confer with the repre-
sentatives of the Crane family, with full power on behalf of the
town to arrange all details respecting said Memorial and Library
building, and to procure a suitable site for it, which shall be satis-
factory to them and to the Crane family, at an expense to the
town of not more than ten thousand dollars.
Voted, That the selectmen are instructed to apply forthwith to
the General Court, now sitting, for an act incorporating the trustees
of the Public Library, with power to receive and hold for the desig-
nated purposes the proposed hall, the land under and around it,
and any other property which may be hereafter given or bequeathed
to the town for Public Library purposes.
Voted, That the sum of ten thousand dollars, or so much thereof
as shall be required, is hereby appropriated for the purpose of
procuring a suitable site for the Crane Memorial Hall.
In accordance with the foregoing vote the Board of Select-
men, Messrs William A. Hodges, William N. Eaton and
Charles H. Porter, applied to the Legislature for an act in-
corporating the trustees of the Public Library. The applica-
tion was favorably considered by the Legislature, and, under
a suspension of the rules, leave to bring in the desired act
was granted. It encountered no opposition, and appears as
chapter 202 of the acts of 1880. At a meeting of the trustees
of the Public Library held on the 4th of May, 1880, the act of
incorporation was accepted, and the new Board of Trustees
of the Thomas Crane Public Library organized.
In May also, in compliance with the preference expressed
in the letter of Mr. Albert Crane, the Woodward lot was
purchased by the town as a site for the proposed Memorial
Hall. The unexpired term for which the estate was leased
was then bought up, the buildings on the premises were
sold at auction, and before the close of the summer of 1880
everything was in readiness to begin building.
Mr. H. H. Richardson had meanwhile been selected by the
Crane family as the architect of the proposed edifice ; and, in
September, after careful revision by the trustees, to whose
wishes and suggestions the most considerate attention was
shown throughout, the plans were approved, contracts exe-
cuted, and ground broken for the foundations. These were
laid before the winter brought work to an end. As a young
man Thomas Crane had been a member of the Rural Lodge
of Free and Accepted Masons of the town of Quincy, and
accordingly it was proposed that the corner-stone of the
Memorial Hall should be formally laid with the ceremonies of
the Masonic order. This was done on the 22d of February,
1 88 1. The day was exceptionally fine, several inches of snow
having fallen on the 21st, and the streets of the town were
alive with sleighs. The sky was clear, the temperature
moderate, and there was no wind. The South Shore Com-
mandery of Grand Templars arrived at about one o'clock, and
at half-past two the procession formed on Hancock Street, in
front of the hall of Rural Lodge, and, marching thence down
Hancock Street to Adams, countermarched to the site of the
Memorial Hall, on Washington Street. The corner-stone was
then laid. There were present on this occasion two mem-
bers of the Rural Lodge, Messrs. Josiah Baxter, of Quincy, and
Charles Beck, of Milton, who had joined the order in 1825,
the same year in which Thomas Crane joined it. After the
exercises at the Library Building the procession reformed and
marched back to the Masonic Hall, where the South Shore
Commandery, the Trustees of the Public Library and others
were entertained by the Rural Lodge at a collation.
It had been intended to dedicate the hall on the 18th of
October, 1881, the seventy-eighth anniversary of the birth of
Thomas Crane. The original plan of the building, however,
had undergone considerable development while the work of
construction was going on, and, as the time approached, it
became apparent that the building would not be then com-
pleted. The ceremony of dedication was consequently post-
poned, and fixed to take place on Decoration Day, in the
succeeding spring. At the annual town-meeting in March,
1882, an appropriation was made to meet the expenses of the
day, and the arrangement of details was referred to a com-
mittee consisting of the Selectmen, Messrs. G. H. Field, C. A.
Spear and E. A. Perkins, and the Trustees of the Thomas
Crane Library, Messrs. C. F. Adams, Jr., Henry Barker, L. W.
Anderson, C. A Foster, H. A. Keith and F. A. Claflin. The
family of Mr. Crane had some months before formally inti-
mated a wish, through the Board of Selectmen, that Mr. C. F.
Adams, Jr., should be invited to prepare a memorial address
for the occasion, which invitation had been accepted.
There was more delay in completing the work on the hall
than had been anticipated, owing to the elaborate finish of
the interior ; and the grading and planting the grounds not
only proved a heavier and more expensive work than it was
supposed it would be, but it was delayed by a long continu-
ance of wet, cold weather. The spring, indeed, was so back-
ward that on Decoration Day, May 30, the lilacs were not
yet in bloom.
Both within and without the building work was being
pushed actively forward until the evening of the day preced-
ing the dedication. On the morning of the 30th, however,
everything was in readiness. The weather was most favor-
able. The foliage, after the recent heavy rains, was hardly
out, but leaves and blossoms were fresh and young, the streets
were free from dust, and the day was clear and cool, with a
light westerly wind. Mrs. Crane and her sons with their
party, consisting of two gentlemen and three ladies, had come
on from their home at Stamford, Connecticut, on the 29th, and
passed Monday night at the Hotel Vendome in Boston. They
arrived at Quincy by the train which left Boston at 8.15
Tuesday morning, and were met at the station by the chief
marshal of the day, Colonel A. B. Packard, and a committee,
and taken immediately to the Memorial Hall.
The committee in charge had, after full consideration, de-
cided to make the dedication a purely Quincy affair, and a
very simple one. It was to consist of a reception at the Hall
by the Crane family, and dedicatory exercises ifi the Stone
Church ; while the Masonic bodies again kindly gave their aid
to lend impressiveness to the occasion. No formal invitations
to be present had been sent to official or well-known person-
ages living outside the town, and the occasion depended for its
success on the desire, which was known to exist among the
people of Quincy generally, to personally indicate to Mrs.
Crane and her sons their sense of the benefaction conferred
upon the town.
The reception began at nine o'clock, and was the distin-
guishing feature of the day. The interior of the building
had during the morning been most tastefully decorated with
plants and flowers, and its effect was very striking and
attractive. In the centre of the inner hall, between the
alcoves, was a large portrait of Mr. Crane, adorned with
smilax and flowers. Behind this, and at the rear of the hall,
were Mrs. Crane and her two sons, with Mrs. B. B. Newcome,
Mr. Crane's sister, near them. Mr. C. A. Foster, on behalf
of the committee, introduced the ladies and gentlemen as
they passed by. The attendance at the reception was very
general, and the kindly feeling, which universally prevailed,
made it to Mrs. Crane and her sons a gratifying and even
a touching occasion. Many cotemporaries and schoolmates
of Mr. Crane were present, and their friendly words as they
passed by were peculiarly gratifying, especially to Mrs. Crane,
who subsequently took occasion to make her sense of it
known. The affair was purely informal. There was no
attempt at parade, and little ceremony ; the interior of the
building, though well filled, was at no time unpleasantly
crowded, and the courtesy and consideration shown was
marked and general.
While the reception was taking place in the Memorial Hall,
the Chief Marshal of the day, Colonel A. B. Packard, with
the assistance of his aids, Messrs. C. A. Howland, W. G. A.
Pattee, E. P. Waterhouse, J. H. Dee, W. H. H. Rideout, J. O.
Holden, H. M. Federhen and J. E. Burns, formed the proces-
sion on Hancock Street, and it was set in motion at about ten
o'clock, in the following order : —
City Band of Boston, 27 pieces.
Chief Marshal, Colonel A. B. Packard.
South Shore Commandery, K. T.,
E. C. W. S. Wallace, 92 men.
Rural Lodge of F. and A. Masons,
W. M. Fred. Jones, 129 men.
Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, of Massachusetts,
M. W. G. M. Samuel C Lawrence.
Co. D, Independent Fusileers of Boston,
Captain Snow, 63 men.
Paul Revere Post 88, G. A. R.,
I. M. Holt, Commander, 60 men.
Orator, Clergy and Invited Guests.
Union Band of Quincy.
John W. Hall, Chief Engineer, 155 men.
George Farquharson, Chieftain, 46 men.
The procession moved through Hancock, Elm and Wash-
ington streets to the Memorial Hall, on the steps and in the
portal of which the Masonic ceremonies took place. The fol-
lowing officers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts were
present, and had formed part of the procession under escort of
Company D. Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia,
Captain Snow, who had considerately offered their services
for the occasion, as, later in the day, they were to do escort
duty in the decoration exercises.
W. Samuel Crocker Lawrence . Grand Master.
W. Edwin Wright Deputy Grand Master.
William Babson .... Senior Grand Warden.
Charles C. Spellman . . Junior Grand Warden.
Wyzeman Marshall . . as Grand Treasurer.
Sereno D. Nickerson . . Recording Grand Secretary.
William H. H. Soule . . D.D.G. Master, Dist. No. 3.
Rev. Charles H. Leonard, D.D., Grand Chaplain.
Frederick D. Ely Grand Marshal.
Charles W. Slack Senior Grand Deacon.
Charles Harris Junior Grand Deacon.
William T. R. Marvin . . . Senior Grand Steward.
George H.Rhodes, I _ Tunior Grand Stewards.
James Mills J
John L. Stevenson ..... Grand Sword-Bearer.
Z. L. Bicknell Grand Standard-Bearer.
Darius A. Green > Gnmd Pursuivants .
James M. Gleason \
Henry J. Parker Grand Tyler.
PERMANENT MEMBERS PRESENT:
R. W. William D. Coolidge . . . Past Grand Master.
" Abraham H. Howland, Jr. . Past Deputy Grand Master.
" Henry Endicott .... Past Grand Warden.
" Edward Avery " " "
Henry G. Fay
Sir William H. Kent, R. E. Grand Commander, and Sir
Charles C. Hutchinson, E. Captain-General, of the Grand
Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, added dig-
nity to the occasion by joining in the escort.
Order being secured, W. Fred. L. Jones, Master of Rural
Lodge, announced to the M.W. Grand Master that all neces-
sary preparations had been made, and the Brethren now-
waited his pleasure. The Weber Quartette opened the ex-
ercises by singing the following
Lead, kindly Light, amid th' encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on ;
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my feet ; I do not ask to see
The distant scene, — one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Should'st lead me on :
I loved to choose and see my path ; but now
Lead thou me on.
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will : remember not past years.
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.
And, with the morn, those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
The Architect, Mr. Richardson, then addressed the Grand
Master, stating that the labors of the operative workmen
had at length reached a conclusion, — that the building was
now ready for the use and occupation of those for whose
benefit it had been planned and completed with such munifi-
cent liberality. It only remained to consecrate it to the ser-
vice for which it was designed, by the mystic rites of that
Ancient and Honorable Fraternity to whom, from time im-
memorial, such duties have been assigned. Thanking the
Grand Master for the promptness with which he had re-
sponded to the request of the Committee of Arrangements,
the Architect invited him to proceed with the ceremony of
The M. W. Grand Master replied as follows : —
Agreeably to the request of the Trustees, and following the
practice of Master Masons, who in ancient times designed, con-
structed and dedicated public buildings to be used for the pur-
poses of charity, education, art and religion, we will now with
pleasure proceed to dedicate this Memorial Hall in accordance with
the olden customs of the Masonic Craft.
Who can forecast the influence for good that will flow from the
establishment of this Public Library Building, in fostering the intel-
ligence and morality of this community — an influence limited
neither to age, sex, condition nor time !
In consecrating a work of such interest and importance let us,
according to the usual Masonic custom, unite with our Grand
Chaplain in invoking the blessing of Deity.
The Rev. Charles H. Leonard, D.D., offered the
God be merciful unto us and bless us ; and cause His face to
shine upon us, that Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving
health among all nations. We thank Thee for this day which thou
hast given us, for this circumstance of our lives, and for the occa-
sion which has called us together. We beseech Thee to grant unto
us the consenting mind and the consenting heart Mercifully w r ith
Thy favor bless us, and all the services and ceremonies of this hour,
and so direct us by Thy good Spirit that all f that we do at this
present may be done in view, not only of our need and the good of
this people, but to Thy honor. For thine is the kingdom and the
power and the glory forever. Amen,
The ceremony of dedication then proceeded as follows : —
Grand Master. Worshipful Brother Grand Marshal, have you
distributed the implements of Operative Masonry to the proper
officers for the requisite examination of the building ?
Grand Marshal. I have, Most Worshipful, and the examina-
tion has been made.
Grand Master. Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, what
is die proper jewel of your office ?
Deputy Grand Master. The Square.
Grand Master. Have you applied the Square ?
Deputy Grand Master. I have, Most Worshipful, and the
Craftsmen have done their duty.
Grand Master. Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, what
is the proper jewel of your office ?
Senior Grand Warden. The Level.
Grand Master. Have you applied the Level ?
Senior Grand Warden. I have, Most Worshipful, and the
Craftsmen have done their duty.
Grand Master. Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden, what
is the proper jewel of your office ?
Junior Grand Warden. The Plumb.
Grand Master. Have you applied the Plumb ?
Junior Grand Warden. I have, Most Worshipful, and the
Craftsmen have done their duty.
The Grand Master, striking the wall of the building three
times with the gavel, said : —
Found square, level and plumb, — well made, well proved,
true and trusty, — built with good skill and for noble ends. The
Public Library Building, Thomas Crane Memorial Hall, has been
erected by the Craftsmen in accordance with the fundamental rules
of the Masonic Fraternity : with Wisdom in its design, Strength in
its construction, and Beauty in its completion.
The Grand Marshal presented the vessel of Corn to the
Junior Grand Warden who poured the Corn, saying : —
Corn is the emblem of nourishment. May this community re-
ceive out of this building, more and more abundantly, that wisdom
which shall nourish and culture their souls to every good and
perfect work, word and thought.
The following was then sung by the Weber Quartette:
Thou of light the great creator,
In our deepest darkness rise ;
Scatter all the night of nature,
Pour the day upon our eyes.
Still we wait for thine appearing,
Life and joy thy beams impart,
Chasing all our fears, and cheering
Every meek and contrite heart.
The Grand Marshal presented the cup of Wine to the
Senior Grand Warden, who poured the Wine, saying: —
- Libations of Wine were employed in ancient consecrations as
types of refreshment. May the learning, literature and song that
shall be gathered within these walls refresh and invigorate the
virtues of this people till they shall have favor with God.
The following was then sung by the Weber Quartette : —
Guide me, O thou great Jehovah !
Pilgrim through this barren land ;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven !
Feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing waters flow ;
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer !
Be Thou still my strength and shield.
The Grand Marshal presented the cup of Oil to the
Deputy Grand Master, who poured the Oil, saying: —
Oil is the symbol of joy and gladness. May this noble memorial
edifice be to all the citizens of this town as a fountain of wisdom,
inspiring them with a love of righteousness, so that it may be said
of them, as of those in olden time, " therefore God, thy God, hath
anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
The Weber Quartette followed with tins
< n.\ \ i
Arise ! Shine I for thy light \s come,
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
Lift up thi round about thee and sec :
All they gather themsel .
They come to tin ■« tea .shall be open continually;
They shall not shut day nor night ;
But the Lord shall he un'.>
And thy God, thy glory. Amen.
The Grand Chaplain offered the following invocation and
prayer of consecration : —
May Corn, Wine and Oil, and all th< tries of life, abound
among men throughout the world ; and that this building may long
stand a fit memorial of virtue, and a centre of fruitful influence, let
PRAYER OF CONSECRATION.
O God, our wisdom and our strength, in Whom alone all our
works are rightly begun and worthily ended, grant Thy presence
now that we come to give to Thee this house which our hands have
builded, and beseech Thee to bless it to the great uses of human
enlightenment. We rejoice in the strength and beauty of the com-
pleted structure, — that according to the plan of designer and the
skill of workmen, without hurt or hindrance, the good work has
gone on to these results and to this auspicious day.
We bless Thee for that wise beneficence whose large and loving
wish has been so carried out by filial faithfulness and affection.
We thank Thee for this fit offering of children to the memory of a
father, and that henceforward it will stand the monument alike of
his foresight and generosity, and of their grateful love. We beseech
Thee to accept this gift of their hearts in the name of what is most
strong in duty and most tender in affection, and for the sake of a
life lived in the full measure and meaning of simple truth and quiet
Hear our prayer, O Thou who dost give direction to all thought
and action, to the end that this structure maybe consecrated in
honor of that measureless spirit of knowledge and learning which
here will invite the faculties of the humblest child, and in memory
of the world's great teachers, the prophets and apostles of truth
and right in all ages, whose wisdom has been embodied for our
reading, and bequeathed to us in good books. Here, in glad pro-
cession, year after year, generation by generation, may the young
come as to a living spring and freely drink. Here may maturity
find the rich treasures which are yielded to man's most studious
hours, — the stimulus of noble minds, and the unfailing delight of
contact with gifted souls. Here may age find solace, in commu-
nion through the printed page, with friends unseen, and yet long
known and deeply loved, — the sustaining tranquillity of life's
God of our fathers, we beseech Thee to bless this people, the
inhabitants of this ancient town, who this day accept this building
and all its belongings as their entrusted care. In view of a history
made illustrious by revered names of statesmen and scholars, in
view of a great inheritance of piety and patriotism, of mighty faith
and loyal sacrifice, may they, the worthy sons and daughters of a
worthy history, of ancestral privilege and incentive, worthily praise
Thee, honoring Thy name, Thy ways in the past, and Thy present
faithfulness, in that Thou dost bless them this day in abundant
good, and in this most gracious promise of favor for themselves
and those who will come after them.
O Thou who hast been favorable unto our land and brought it
through many and great distresses, we would remember before
Thee, on this anniversary day, that our special rejoicings are
blended with the nation's larger gratitude towards her princely
sons and heroes. Help us, therefore, to rise to some ampler view
of our relations and our duties, so that, while we dedicate this
house to Thee and the best uses and capabilities of the advancing
years, we may give ourselves anew to Thee in a more intelligent
citizenship, and a wiser devotion to public and private good.
O God, hear these our supplications and thanksgivings, and so
bless us that we shall be shaped as living stones, at the last to be
fitted and built into Thy spiritual temple; and unto Thy great name
be glory and honor and power, —through Jesus Christ, forever.
The M. W. Grand Master delivered the following ad-
dress : —
ADDRESS OF THE GRAND MASTER, SAMUEL CROCKER
In compliance with the official invitation extended to the Grand
Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts, we have come here to dedicate
this building to the noble uses for which it has been erected.
Although the Grand Lodge has from time to time, in conformity
with the ancient usages of our Fraternity, dedicated many of the
great public edifices of the Commonwealth, designed for the use
of the State, and for religious, charitable and monumental pur-
poses, I am not aware that its services have ever been called into
requisition in the dedication of a building of this character. If
such be the fact, I feel no hesitation in establishing a precedent
which is in entire harmony with the spirit and aims of our Institu-
tion in originating and maintaining this ancient ceremonial of dedi-
cation ; and the Grand Lodge has found it a grateful duty to lend
its presence, through its official representatives, to assist in doing
honor to this interesting occasion.
We fully recognize the claim which this historic town has upon
the respect and gratitude of every American citizen. She has,
from generation to generation, been the happy mother of sons to
whom the graces of high intellect and public virtue have been
heritable, and the brightest pages of our national annals are illumi-
nated with their names.
" To save the State, to mould the fate
Of empire o'er these broadening lands, —
What nobler task could Honor ask
For faithful hearts, for trusty hands ? "
As the representatives of an institution, in which, from pre-Revo-
lutionary times to the present, patriotism and loyalty have been
traditional, we may well feel an interest in every evidence of pro-
gress and prosperity in this typical New England municipality.
And we may say, too, that our presence here as members of the
great Masonic Fraternity, invited to lend the sanction of its rites
to the dedication of this building, is not without its significance
and its moral. Scarcely half a century has elapsed since a storm
of popular odium and suspicion beat against the institution we re-
present. Many eminent men, honestly misapprehending the char-
acter and purposes of Masonry, engaged in the warfare against it,
and one of the most distinguished leaders was a venerable and
venerated citizen of Quincy. While we recall these facts simply as
interesting incidents of history, and without the slightest shadow
of displeasure or resentment, I may be allowed to give public
expression to the gratification with which the Fraternity regards the
great and salutary change which has come over public sentiment,
consequent upon the better understanding of the nature and ob-
jects of the Masonic institution. The kindly spirit which pervades
the Brotherhood, the benign social and moral influences which
emanate from it, and the high respectability of its growing mem-
bership, are now universally recognized, and the public has ceased
to dread indefinable dangers from the Ancient and Honorable
Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons.
It is proper that we should take part in the celebration of this
event, — the completion of an enterprise which owed its concep-
tion to the generous public spirit of a member of our order, and
which the faithful affection of his family has brought to a success-
ful conclusion. We heartily congratulate the people of Quincy that
they have come into possession of such an inheritance. Here they
will have a fitting depository for the wisdom of all ages, as it is
made imperishable in books. The value of a well-selected library,
open to the use of all the people, cannot be adequately measured.
While it is of the greatest utility as an adjunct to our system of
popular education, it does something more than to fit men to grap-
ple successfully with the practical work of life, so far as the ends
and aims are purely material. It is the great instrument for train-
ing men to those habits of intelligent inquiry and reflection which
bring them to an acquaintance with the principles which underlie
the science of life, without which we have no safe guidance, and
are fit only to become the dupes of sophists, charlatans and dema-
gogues. It is the instrument also for purifying the imagination
and refining the aspirations of the soul, until man becomes not
only filled with wisdom and clothed with strength, but crowned
with moral beauty. We cannot too profoundly recognize this fact,
the commonplace statement of which is in danger of becoming tire-
some to the public ear, — that a republic founded upon intelligence
and virtue is an ideally perfect government, but that without such
a basis it is a delusion and a mockery.
Therefore while we felicitate the people of Quincy upon the pos-
session of this noble edifice, and the library which it will contain,
it is our fervent prayer that the full advantages which can be de-
rived from such an institution may inure to this community. I beg
you to call to mind the words of the philosopher whose recent
death we justly regard as a national calamity.
" Consider," says Emerson, " what you have in the smallest
chosen library. A company of the wisest and wittiest men that
could be picked out of all civil countries, in a thousand years, have
set in best order the results of their learning and wisdom. The
men themselves were hid and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of
interruption, fenced by etiquette ; but the thought which they did
not uncover to their bosom friend is here written out in transparent
words to us, the strangers of another age."
Approach, then, this temple, dedicated to the intellectual and
moral improvement of man, with gratitude for the inestimable privi-
leges it generously offers to the poorest citizen among you. In
the serene atmosphere of study and contemplation may your souls
be penetrated with the lessons of wisdom and virtue which the
sages of all times have left for your guidance and instruction ; and
under such gracious influences may you be trained to habits of
right thinking and right living, to social kindness and brotherly
love, to a philanthropy which shall be as broad as humanity itself,
and to all the virtues which exalt the standard of a true American
The Grand Marshal made the following
In the name of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachu-
setts, I now proclaim that Crane Memorial Hall, a public library
building, erected at the desire and from the wealth of Thomas
Crane, a venerated Masonic Brother, with the free and generous
consent of his family, has this day been found square, level and
plumb, true and trusty, and has been consecrated according to the
ancient forms of the Masonic Craft. This proclamation is made
from the East, the West, the South : once [trumpet], twice [trumpet
twice], thrice [trumpet thrice]. All interested will take due notice
The Grand Chaplain offered the
O God, Thou who art the source and the consummation of our
life, the beginning and the end of all our undertakings, vouchsafe
to us now Thy divine benediction. Accept and bless our offerings.
Preserve to us the memory of this hour. Cheer us more and more
by the promise of increasing good to flow from widespread schools
and all institutions established to promote the common good.
Forbid that we should ever be unfaithful to our opportunities ; but
may such devotion mark our history that a manifold intelligence
and righteousness shall prevail throughout all our borders ; that so
Thy kingdom may come and Thy will be done on earth as it is in
At the conclusion of the ceremonies of dedication the
column was again formed and marched to the junction of
Adams and Hancock streets, where it was countermarched
and returned to the Stone Church. This, though the largest
public building in seating-capacity in the town, was too small
to well accommodate all who desired to listen to the dedica-
tory exercises. Mrs. Crane and her party occupied pews on
the left-hand side of the central aisle ; opposite to her, and
in his own pew, was the Hon. Charles Francis Adams, with
Mrs. Adams and members of their family.
The exercises in the church occupied almost exactly one
hour. They were opened by the singing by the Weber
Quartette of the following : —
Hear our prayer ; grant us Thy peace we pray ;
Guard, oh guard us, Lord, guard us by night and day ;
In Thee, O Lord, we place our trust,
Thou who art merciful and just.
Bend from Thy throne on high ;
Hear, oh hear our prayer, oh hear our prayer.
Prayer was then offered by the Rev. Edward Norton, pas-
tor of the Congregational Church of Quincy. The following
was then chanted by the Weber Quartette : —
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil
days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no
pleasure in them ;
While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars be not darkened,
nor the clouds return after the rain :
In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong
men shall bow themselves, and the grinders shall cease because they are
few, and those that look out of the windows shall be darkened,
And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grind-
ing is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daugh-
ters of music shall be brought low ;
Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be
in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall
be a burden, and desire shall fail : because man goeth to his long home,
and the mourners go about the streets :
Or ever the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the
pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was : and the spirit shall
return unto God who gave it. \
In accordance with the programme the Chief Marshal, who,
together with Mr. Albert Crane, and Messrs. Adams and
Foster of the trustees, occupied a small platform in front of
the pulpit, then introduced Mr. Crane, as the representative
of his father's family, who presented to Mr. Adams, as chair-
man of the trustees, the key of the Memorial Hall. In doing
so he spoke as follows : —
Mr. Chairman and Trustees of the Thomas Crane Public Lib?'ary,
Ladies and GentleiJien : —
In behalf of the family of the late Thomas Crane, I have the
honor to say that the Library is finished, and that we have come
here to-day to dedicate and formally transfer it to the town of
Quincy, as a memorial of my father. We have been especially
gratified by the prompt acceptance of our proposition to build, by
the generous unification of all your collections of books with the
structure which will now preserve them, and the co-operation of
the committee throughout. And now that the structure is ready
for occupancy and use, I hereby formally deliver to you, as Trustees
of the Thomas Crane Public Library, and as authorized to accept it,
— by this key as a symbol of control and ownership, — to have and
keep forever for the purposes specified in the act of incorporation,
the full possession of this building, tenderly consecrated to the
memory of Thomas Crane, by the affections of his family, and
doubly consecrated in their hearts by the generous sympathy of the
citizens of his native town.
To these words Mr. Adams, in receiving the key, responded
as follows : —
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Crane Library
of Quincy, it devolves upon me to accept from you, Sir, as repre-
senting the family of your late father, the transfer of the Crane
Memorial Hall. In doing so I am sure I voice the common senti-
ment of all the inhabitants of Quincy when I say that this noble
benefaction comes to us under circumstances making it peculiarly
grateful. Quincy has heretofore not been unaccustomed to receive
benefactions at the hands of her children. They have, however,
come to her from those who have remained her children to the
end , — a part of the common family, as it were. In the present
case this is not so. Your father left this town, his native place,
more than half a century ago, and never again became a resident
in it. His children were born in another State, and no ties ever
bound them to Quincy. When, however, you looked about for a
place where you should erect a memorial to him, you chose this his
The Crane Memorial Hall, therefore, must always have a double
significance, — a significance to us as well as to you. As a monu-
ment of conjugal and filial devotion it will not fail in its purpose.
To us of Quincy, however, it is more than that. It is a standing
reminder of that affection, — that strong bond of feeling which those
who have gone forth from New England, from Massachusetts and
from Quincy still retain for their native place. It comes to us as a
gift unexpected and from afar. It will be prized and preserved
On behalf of the Trustees of the Library, on behalf of the people
of Quincy, who, one and all, will profit by the gift, I accept the
At the close of his response, Mr. Adams resumed his seat.
After a brief pause he rose again and proceeded to deliver the
Memorial Address. He spoke without notes, and, as the exer-
cises in the church had begun later than was intended, the
Address was in delivery much compressed, occupying but a
few minutes over half an hour. It was listened to with pro-
found attention, and at the close was warmly applauded.
When Mr. Adams closed and had resumed his seat, the
following was chanted by the Weber Quartette : —
Though long years have passed away,
And joyous summer left me,
. Though autumn sings her plaintive lay,
Yet art thou still dear to me.
Though far away, thy voice is ever near to me,
Absence but makes thee dearer to me ;
No time can change my love for thee.
A Benediction was then pronounced by the Rev. D. M.
Wilson, pastor of the church, and the public dedicatory exer-
cises were brought to a close. The audience was dismissed
at half-past twelve o'clock.
Later a collation was furnished the fire department at the
chiurch building on Hancock Street, which had the day before
been vacated by the Library officials ; the members of the
Grand Army dined at their hall ; and the Masonic Lodges
marched to Faxon Hall, on Canal Street, where they partook
of an entertainment. Immediately after the exercises at the
church Mrs. Grane and her party were driven to the residence
of Mr. C. F. Adams, Jr., whose guests they were during the
remainder of the day. They returned to Boston in the after-
noon, and to Stamford the next morning.
UNIVERSITY OP ILLINOI8-URBANA
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